Welcome to Stanford: A letter from the Grind

Sept. 20, 2018, 7:31 a.m.

To all the freshmen trying but ~barely~ surviving NSO:

I’d like to welcome you to the next four years of your life! Being a first-year student at Stanford is no easy feat. You’re most likely going to get completely lost, show up to the wrong class, lock yourself out of your room, lose your bike keys, submit an assignment one minute late and forget your roommate’s name within the next week. And that’s okay.

Even though we upperclassmen seem to have our lives together, we’re still partly freshmen at heart (minus the excessive lanyard usage). You’ll be making mistakes and discovering new things every day on the Farm. The emotional growth and life lessons that come from these experiences are things you may want to share with others – for the laughs, for the tears, for the cringes.

That’s where the Grind comes in.

When I was a freshman and applied for The Stanford Daily, I had absolutely no idea what the Grind was. It was described as the “lifestyle” section of the paper, where you could write about almost everything and anything that didn’t fit into the other sections. In high school I was never interested in hard-hitting news stories or sports recaps, so this seemed like the opportunity for me to write about my personal experiences. Although I cringe at some of the stories I’ve written, writing honestly about the ups and downs of freshman year is exactly what I did.

I wrote about the differences of living on the East and West Coasts. I wrote about my experience trying out the popular hookup culture but realizing it wasn’t for me. I wrote about texting habits that irk me. I wrote about the consequences of over-planning a day. I wrote about the struggles of being an introvert at a university like Stanford.

These articles – among many others I published with the Grind – helped me synthesize a year that was more confusing than going through puberty into something cohesive. I learned to be proud of my work and not to hide when I saw someone reading one of my articles at breakfast in the dining hall. I made friends with writers whose articles inspired me to push farther beyond my comfort zone. The Grind’s weekly meetings became a safe space to share relatable struggles and eat snacks to make ourselves feel a little better.

If you’re thinking about joining The Daily but don’t know where you’d fit in, I urge you to give the Grind a try. We’re an eclectic group of writers who cover topics ranging from dining hall food to mental health, and our styles can be anywhere from satirical to inspirational. You have the freedom to choose what you want to write about and how you want to write about it; all you have to do it fill out the application.

I hope to see you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for early morning rollouts!


Emily Schmidt

Managing Editor of the Grind, Vol. 254


Contact Emily Schmidt at egs1997 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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